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Radiation and Stephen Hawking



Many of you are probably familiar with Stephan Hawking, the brilliant physicist confined to a wheelchair (in fact they just made a movie about him, I'm very interested in seeing it). Hawking is known for his theories and discoveries in the realm of relativity and space, especially concerning black holes. One of his discoveries that I would like to discuss is Hawking Radiation.

Hawking Radiation is the black body radiation a black hole emits due to quantum effects near the event horizon - or the boarder that prevents activity in the black hole from reaching an observer. Due to the uncertainty principle I discussed before, a rotating black hole should create and emit particles, causing the black hole to lose mass, shrink, and eventually vanish. This is called black hole evaporation. Micro black holes are larger net emitters of this Hawking Radiation than large black holes, and are expected to dissipate faster.

Previously, it was believed that the gravitational strength of a black hole was too strong to let nothing, not even electromagnetic radiation, escape. However, with the discovery of Hawking Radiation, it seems that black holes create particle-antiparticle pairs, and due to vacuum fluctuations in the black hole, the pair appears near to the even horizon, and one particle escapes while the other falls into the gravitational attraction of the black hole, making it appear to the observer that a particle was emitted. These emissions cause a loss in mass for the black hole.

Hawking's theories challenged previous models of the black hole and brought to light new connections between gravity and quantum physics. I hope y'all find quantum physics as interesting as I do! Until next time, Fizzix community, until next time.


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